Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay || Review

2018-04-10 21.12.14

Title: Sarah’s Key
Author(s): Tatiana de Rosnay
No. of pages: 331
Genre: Historical fiction, World War II
Publication date: September 2006
Date read: April 5th 2018
5/5 ★


Blurb

Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family’s apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d’Hiv’, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah’s past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.
(Goodreads)


Review

Reading Sarah’s Key was kinda tough. It’s so bizarre to read about the horrendous things that were done to Jewish people in the second World War. Especially since I’m lucky enough to live in peace in 2018 and it’s quite hard to realise I’m reading about an event that really happened not even 80 years ago, and not even that far from where I live. But it did happen and it’s something we may never forget. It’s important to read books about the past, just to remember that it happened, however hard the story may be to read.

The story Sarah’s Key is divided into parts about Sarah’s experiences in the past, and about Julia’s experiences in the present. I think these two merged into each other quite smoothly. Julia is doing research on what happened on July 16th 1942 and eventually finds out about Sarah. Besides her research on Sarah, you also get to know about Julia’s personal life – marriage, family, friends etc. This might seem uninteresting at first, but that’s mainly because it’s everyday life to us. These problems are things that we can all imagine happening to ourselves. On the other side there’s Sarah’s story – something so bizarre and unreal, but what has really taken place (not exactly Sarah’s story, but for a large part her story represents what happened to Jewish people in WWII). This contrast made me think about my luck, to be able to live in peace despite my everyday problems, even more.

If you like reading novels on WWII, I really recommend you read Sarah’s Key!

6 thoughts on “Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay || Review

    1. Thank you! I really recommend you read it if you like reading about WWII (and I know what you mean, “liking” reading about WWII sounds kind of weird :’)

      Like

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